Putin’s Nuclear Threat

The disconnect between the Western and Russian narratives in the current conflict could prove fatal to the world, writes Scott Ritter.

Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (U.N. Photo/Cia Pak)

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

Vladimir Putin is a madman. He’s lost it. At least that is what the leaders of the West would like you to believe. According to their narrative, Putin — isolated, alone, confused, and angry at the unfolding military disaster Russia was undergoing in Ukraine — lashed out, ostensibly threatening the entire world with nuclear annihilation.

In a meeting with his top generals on Sunday, the beleaguered Russian president announced, “I order the defense minister and the chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces to put the deterrence forces of the Russian army into a special mode of combat service.”

The reason for this action, Putin noted, centered on the fact that, “Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly actions against our country in the economic sphere, but top officials from leading NATO members made aggressive statements regarding our country” in relation to the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

The “deterrence forces” Putin spoke of refers to Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

What made the Russian president’s words resonate even more was that last Thursday, when announcing the commencement of Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine, Putin declared that “no one should have any doubts that a direct attack on our country will lead to the destruction and horrible consequences for any potential aggressor.” He emphasized that Russia is “one of the most potent nuclear powers and also has a certain edge in a range of state-of-the-art weapons.”

When Putin issued that threat, The Washington Post described it as “empty, a mere baring of fangs.” The Pentagon, involved as it was in its own review of U.S. nuclear posture designed to address threats such as this, seemed non-plussed, with an anonymous official noting that U.S. policy makers “don’t see an increased threat in that regard.”

NATO’s Response

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and others representatives of NATO countries in a group photo at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, March 2021 . (State Department/Ron Przysucha)

For NATO’s part, the Trans-Atlantic military alliance, which sits at the heart of the current crisis, issued a statement in which it noted that:

“Russia’s actions pose a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security, and they will have geo-strategic consequences. NATO will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the security and defense of all Allies. We are deploying additional defensive land and air forces to the eastern part of the Alliance, as well as additional maritime assets. We have increased the readiness of our forces to respond to all contingencies.”

Hidden near the bottom of this statement, however, was a passage which, when examined closely, underpinned the reasoning behind Putin’s nuclear muscle-flexing. “[W]e have held consultations under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty,” the statement noted. “We have decided, in line with our defensive planning to protect all Allies, to take additional steps to further strengthen deterrence and defense across the Alliance.”

Under Article 4, members can bring any issue of concern, especially related to the security of a member country, to the table for discussion within the North Atlantic Council. NATO members Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland triggered the Article 4 consultation following the Russian incursion into Ukraine. In a statement issued on Friday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expanded on the initial NATO statement, declaring that NATO was committed to protecting and defending all its allies, including Ukraine.

Three things about this statement stood out. First, by invoking Article IV, NATO was positioning itself for potential offensive military action; its previous military interventions against Serbia in 1999, Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2004, and Libya in 2011, were all done under Article IV of the NATO Charter. Seen in this light, the premise that NATO is an exclusively defensive organization, committed to the promise of collective self-defense, is baseless.

Second, while Article V (collective defense) protections only extend to actual NATO members, which Ukraine is not, Article IV allows the umbrella of NATO protection to be extended to those non-NATO members whom the alliance views as an ally, a category Stoltenberg clearly placed Ukraine in.

Finally, Stoltenberg’s anointing of Ukraine as a NATO ally came at the same time he announced the activation and deployment of NATO’s 40,000-strong Response Force, some of which would be deployed to NATO’s eastern flank, abutting Ukraine. The activation of the Response Force is unprecedented in the history of NATO, a fact that underscores the seriousness to which a nation like Russia might attach to the action.

When seen in this light, Putin’s comments last Thursday were measured, sane, and responsible.

What Happens if NATO Convoys or EU Jets Are Hit?

Dassault Mirage F1CR jet operated by French Air Force and based at Reims. (Alan Wilson/Wikimedia Commons)

Since the Article IV consultations began, NATO members have begun to supply Ukraine with lethal military aid, with the promise of more in the days and weeks to come. These shipments can only gain access to Ukraine through a ground route that requires transshipment through NATO members, including Romania and Poland. It goes without saying that any vehicle carrying lethal military equipment into a war zone is a legitimate target under international law; this would apply in full to any NATO-affiliated shipment or delivery done by a NATO member on their own volition.

What happens when Russia begins to attack NATO/EU/US/Allied arms deliveries as they arrive on Ukrainian soil? Will NATO, acting under Article IV, create a buffer zone in Ukraine, using the never-before-mobilized Response Force? One naturally follows the other…

The scenario becomes even more dire if the EU acts on its pledge to provide Ukraine with aircraft and pilots to fight the Russians. How would these be deployed to Ukraine? What happens when Russia begins shooting down these aircraft as soon as they enter Ukrainian airspace? Does NATO now create a no-fly zone over western Ukraine?

What happens if a no-fly zone (which many officials in the West are promoting) is combined with the deployment of the Response Force to create a de facto NATO territory in western Ukraine? What if the Ukrainian government establishes itself in the city of Lvov, operating under the protection of this air and ground umbrella?

Russia’s Nuclear Doctrine

Night training for the Victory Day parade on Red Square, May 4, 2021. ( Micha? Siergiejevicz/Wikimedia Commons)

In June 2020, Russia released a new document, titled “On Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Deterrence,” that outlined the threats and circumstances that could lead to Russia’s use of nuclear weapons. While this document declared that Russia “considers nuclear weapons exclusively as a means of deterrence,” it outlined several scenarios in which Russia would resort to the use of nuclear weapons if deterrence failed.

While the Russian nuclear policy document did not call for the preemptive use of nuclear weapons during conventional conflicts, it did declare that “in the event of a military conflict, this Policy provides for the prevention of an escalation of military actions and their termination on conditions that are acceptable for the Russian Federation and/or its allies.”

In short, Russia might threaten to use nuclear weapons to deter “aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy.”

In defining Russia’s national security concerns to both the U.S. and NATO last December, Putin was crystal clear about where he stood when it came to Ukrainian membership in NATO. In a pair of draft treaty documents, Russia demanded that NATO provide written guarantees that it would halt its expansion and assure Russia that neither Ukraine nor Georgia ever be offered membership into the alliance.

In a speech delivered after Russia’s demands were delivered, Putin declared that if the U.S. and its allies continue their “obviously aggressive stance,” Russia would take “appropriate retaliatory military-technical measures,” adding that it has “every right to do so.”

In short, Putin made it clear that, when it came to the issue of Ukrainian membership in NATO, the stationing of U.S. missiles in Poland and Romania and NATO deployments in Eastern Europe, Russia felt that its very existence was being threatened. 

The Disconnect

A bus burns Thursday on road from Kharkiv to Kiev as Russia enters the war. (Yan Boechat/VOA/Wikimedia Commons)

The Russian invasion of Ukraine, when seen from the perspective of Russia and its leadership, was the result of a lengthy encroachment by NATO on the legitimate national security interests of the Russian state and people. The West, however, has interpreted the military incursion as little more than the irrational action of an angry, isolated dictator desperately seeking relevance in a world slipping out of his control.

The disconnect between these two narratives could prove fatal to the world. By downplaying the threat Russia perceives, both from an expanding NATO and the provision of lethal military assistance to Ukraine while Russia is engaged in military operations it deems critical to its national security, the U.S. and NATO run the risk of failing to comprehend the deadly seriousness of Putin’s instructions to his military leaders regarding the elevation of the level of readiness on the part of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.

Far from reflecting the irrational whim of a desperate man, Putin’s orders reflected the logical extension of a concerted Russian national security posture years in the making, where the geopolitical opposition to NATO expansion into Ukraine was married with strategic nuclear posture. Every statement Putin has made over the course of this crisis has been tied to this policy.

While the U.S. and NATO can debate the legitimacy of the Russian concerns, to dismiss the national security strategy of a nation that has been subjected to detailed bureaucratic vetting as nothing more than the temper tantrum of an out of touch autocrat represents a dangerous disregard of reality, the consequences of which could prove to be fatal to the U.S., NATO, and the world.

President Putin has often complained that the West does not listen to him when he speaks of issues Russia deems to be of critical importance to its national security.

The West is listening now. The question is, is it capable of comprehending the seriousness of the situation?

So far, the answer seems to be no.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

66 comments for “Putin’s Nuclear Threat

  1. Mark Thomason
    March 5, 2022 at 15:50

    Pakistan developed a theory under which they could use nuclear weapons against India without MAD destroying both.

    Their idea was to draw the Indian Army into the border region of Pakistan, then nuke it there, outside India.

    Putin could see a safe zone in Ukraine in that way, as a place to nuke NATO forces outside NATO proper. Whether he is right or wrong, there is precedent for the idea.

  2. Surrealisto
    March 5, 2022 at 12:33

    If it’s true what’s in today’s news, about Trump telling Putin he would “hit Moscow, if” then No Wonder Putin lunged right away into nuclear posturing himself. Trump being enough of a dumbfuck to say something like that even in jest pretty much shows him up for being not exactly as pro-peace as he could have been taken for, esp many of us who would definitely have preferred him to Hilary and her warmongering- & who may have even triggered all this a lot sooner than it all has happened. With Trump out of the way Putin perhaps sees Biden as an old man unwilling to go toe to toe. But that’s the point. Why do the 2 nuclear superpowers NEED to go toe to toe, or why should they, when for 30 years they’ve managed not to? Why IS NATO still an object, when it should have been dismantled when the Soviet Empire fell, to prove there really WAS goodwill in the West’s acceptance of Russia as a free democracy again? None of our leaders seem capable of keeping things beyond the emotional pitch-point the media is always looking for. And things can get a lot worse before they get better.

  3. Mr. Russian
    March 2, 2022 at 00:02

    I’m a Russian who lives in the US. I’ve been living here for a long time but at the same time I visit Russia often, so I’m somewhat emerged in political, economical, and cultural situations in both countries.
    I must say that Scott Ritter is very well informed on how Russian politicians and diplomats think and react. To be completely honest I didn’t know that such experts actually exist in the US, because it seemed that since the collapse of the USSR, the American policy on Russia was to “keep calm and ignore their interests”. It worked very well in the 1990s because Russia was very weak but it stopped working long time ago. American politicians are unable to wake up to the reality. Putin’s Munich speech in 2007 was supposed to be a wake up call but it didn’t get through.
    I say that I’m somewhat scared now, I don’t doubt for a second that Putin would use nuclear weapons if Russia is threatened.
    Putin NEVER says one single word without meaning. His speeches are incredibly meticulous, he choses words carefully, and unfortunately they are often lost in translation. Sometimes it seems that State department’s Russian to English translators are dilatants.
    Liz Truss says that “Putin must be stopped in Ukraine”, Bruno Le Maire says “we are going to deliver a total economic and financial war against Russia”, things like that said by high European politicians are not considered to be empty threats by Russia, at least in the real diplomatic world it’s not considered to be an empty threat or you’d just lose all credibility.
    We are living in world where 5 minutes of good PR seem to mean more for a politician than the very existence of one’s country.

  4. Richard Graham
    March 1, 2022 at 15:07

    Putin was reacting to Zelensky’s stupidly provocative statement Ukraine would seek Nuclear weapons. He is telling the West that Russia is ‘all in’ playing this hand of military poker. Nato is still playing with children’s toys.

  5. Bob Kavanagh
    March 1, 2022 at 13:11

    Please make up your mind. Is it simply an incursion (‘the Russian incursion into Ukraine’) or is it a war?

  6. Jiri Severa
    March 1, 2022 at 12:51

    The British journalist and peace activist E.P. Thompson ( died in 1993) said in the 1970’s that there was a “streak of dangerous craziness in the American view of the world”. I wonder what he would have said today.

  7. alley cat
    March 1, 2022 at 02:36

    “Freezing Russia’s foreign reserves will prevent the country bolstering the value of the ruble by selling the currency of other nations. As the value of the ruble plummets, Russians will face severe challenges affording food and other basic necessities. The new penalties could also limit Russia’s ability to stabilize major banks after they were cut off from the global financial system in previous rounds of sanctions.”
    –from thehill.com, “US imposes sanctions on Russian central bank”
    By Sylvan Lane – 02/28/22

    “President Biden said Monday he does not believe Americans have reason to be concerned about nuclear war amid tensions with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.”
    –from the hill.com, “Biden: Public shouldn’t worry about nuclear war with Russia”
    By Brett Samuels – 02/28/22

    This is what happens when you elect a completely corrupt warmonger with a defective CPU. Biden has so far completely miscalculated Russia’s reactions to his warmongering. Has Biden read Putin’s “Announcement of Military Action?” If he has, he gives no indication of understanding the implications of it.

    The encirclement of Russia by NATO nuclear missile bases and the freezing of the Russian Central Bank’s foreign reserves are daggers aimed at the heart of a country that has the capability to convert both Europe and the U.S. into glass parking lots. Putin would not be wrong in concluding that Americans are dead set on subjugating Russia by any means necessary.

    Is Biden aware that Russia has operational nuclear-capable hypersonic missiles, against which the U.S. has no defense? If he is, he gives no indication of understanding the implications of it.

    Biden could have avoided a suicidal nuclear showdown with Russia by ruling out NATO expansion to Ukraine and by avoiding sanctions calculated to destroy Russia’s economy. Instead, he has doubled down on the provocations.

    Houston, we have a problem.

    • Dc_rez
      March 1, 2022 at 09:47

      Well said.
      Love the defective CPU line.

  8. Hans Meyer
    March 1, 2022 at 01:53

    More worrisome is that the Russian are ready in case of nuclear disaster (well, everybody, from human to lychee is going to take it), they have contingency plans to evacuate a large chunk of their civilian population. Nothing as such in most of Europe and the US. In other words, they are messing with the bull, but are not ready if/when he will crash through the fence.

  9. rik myers
    March 1, 2022 at 00:27

    when you speak of an out of touch autocrat are you speak of Boris Johnson, Angela, Merkel, penis piano player (hxxps://www.primetimer.com/watch/ukrainian-president-volodymyr-zelenskyy-penis-piano) what’s his name in “charge” of Ukraine, macron, Turdeau or Biden? because i think Putin is very much in touch with what needs to be done to back down NATO Uk Germany and the US imperialist exspanionist greedy sociopaths

  10. February 28, 2022 at 23:58

    Ukraine claims to be receiving 70 warplanes from Czechia, Romania and one other EE NATO-joiner, forget which. Do you have any info on what kind? Konashenkov claimed air superiority achieved almost a day ago.

    I’ve seen little mention of any manned warplanes in action by Ukrainian side. Just a Su-25 and some Bayraktar drones, which wikipedia says they ordered 12 of and Russia claims to have shot down 3.

    Perhaps the best deterrent to a NATO counterattack is a hopeless cause. An army telling civilians to stockpile Molotovs and asking foreign volunteers to join up is near the end of its rope. UK just sent email to all its personnel and vets forbidding them to volunteer.

    It is up to us citizens of NATO countries to stop this crazy machine.

    • Dan Pulju
      March 1, 2022 at 00:47

      nvm the question about the planes, it’s 56 MiG-29 and 14 Su-25 from Poland, Bulgaria and Slovakia.

  11. Moses
    February 28, 2022 at 21:54

    If one insists on considering Putin mad, then at least think him mad in an enraged, really pissed-off sort of way.
    And one should not deal with someone with nuclear weapons who is enraged by kicking sand in their face. De-escalate not escalate.

    On the other hand if one insists on thinking him as truly mad, then all one can do is say one’s prayers. We are all going to die. And we should have stayed the F# away from the Ukraine and given guarantees that Ukraine would stay neutral and outside NATO.

  12. Shug130713
    February 28, 2022 at 21:24

    From all of the above comments…the elephant in the room is China. What does it benefit/denigrate from a collapse of the USA/UK/ Euro Russian disconnect from SWIFT? Will it absorb Russia’s loss of its oil sales to the USA? Will it protect Venezuala? Will it continue to cooperate with France’s Western language monopolies in Western Africa? Or does it let loose its own dogs of war?

  13. Richard Steven Hack
    February 28, 2022 at 19:33

    Outstanding article, Scott.

    Up to perhaps day before yesterday, I considered the probability of WWIII over Ukraine to be low, due to Ukraine not being a NATO member and also the relative military balance between Russia and US/NATO forces in Europe (some 30 war games have proven that NATO would lose in a conflict with Russia.)

    Then I became aware of Article 4, and the progression of NATO interventions which got around the need to invoke Article 5 and the UNSC. So I agree with your analysis. This is a real problem if the US and NATO leaders fail to recognize the military balance.

  14. jo6pac
    February 28, 2022 at 19:14

    Thanks SR

    February 28, 2022 at 01:18

    We’ll find soon as ukraine pilots have gone to poland to get new jet fighters. I do hope Russia meets them at the border and shots all down. I do hope all pilots live.

  15. Walter
    February 28, 2022 at 17:26

    Yes, well reasoned essay… The sages once wrote along these lines: Evil appears as good to those whom the gods would destroy, and later quos deus vult perdere prius dementat.

    It may be worthwhile to recall Going Underground E1010 recently…we see no difference between NATO, nazi, or “the West”, the same countries are attacking us, and so on.

    But taking the view that NATO and the US are simply not paying attention, that they’re incompetent, does not seem to explain the actions of the West…what does explain these actions is that the nazis were and are transnational and are in fact the deep state running the west…and their goals of world conquest are evil, not incompetent.

    I think my friend Scott is being naive.

    • Rob Roy
      March 2, 2022 at 20:16

      Walter, Scott Ritter is never naïve. He’s spot on re everything. Sure, we have our Proud Boys, Skin Heads, neo-Nazis but they don’t run the country (but want to), but in Ukraine, Nazis really do run the country and the president is a puppet with no authority. Check out Military Training for Young Children at Ukraine’s “Neo-Nazi Summer Camp.” Recruitment of Ukraine’s “Child Soldiers” supported by the US and, how crazy is this, Israel. These camps began right after our state department (Victoria Nuland, backed by Joe Biden and Barack Obama) pulled an illegal bloody coup in 2014 (one of many since WWII). I like Putin because I read what he writes and listen to what he says and he always makes sense. Our MSM won’t say anything accurate about Putin/Russia. The New York Times had the gall to say how awful it was that a sovereign country could be invaded in this century. Guess they forgot about all the illegal coups and wars we’ve started in sovereign countries since WWII, murdering literally millions, for decades. The censorship is becoming rampant, not just like McCarthyism was here, but all over the world. Today if I wrote this in the Czech Republic, Slovakia or Latvia, I could be put in prison! It doesn’t matter who’s running the U.S. It isn’t capable of doing anything right, ever.

  16. Robert Emmett
    February 28, 2022 at 17:19

    I wonder which u.S. cities big-brain geo-strategists are willing to sacrifice to thwart the Russkie menace in a nuclear exchange? Do they have a list? Can we see it?? Or vote on it??? (haha, too much demockracy for a republic?)

    And guess what? Does funneling war materiel to a war zone trigger the War Powers Act under the Constitution? Just asking the question got a republican Senator from Utah slapped-down as a “traitor” and a Russian agent (per Glenn Greenwald’s 2-27 article).

    Will we see, once again, the AUMF stalking-in on little cat’s paws to justify everything?

    And oh, please, assure me once again as was done just days ago that neither side would be so crazy or illogical as to contemplate, let alone put “on the table”, ratcheting-up the conflict toward the use of nuclear weapons.

  17. George Philby
    February 28, 2022 at 16:46

    Two imperfect poems written in haste and anger, after reading and viewing MSM’s vile, vitriolic ‘coverage’. Is this what the “civilized” world (the “peace dividend” world) has come to?
    Oh, for a Kennedy in ’62. Yes, he created the missile crisis by his (unforgivable and continuing) hostility to Cuba (just as Obama/Biden/Nuland and US/UK/NATO caused the present crisis). But JFK understood Russia’s legitimate need for security (and the danger to the world of nuclear conflict, if he pushed Russia too far) and he agreed to move US missiles from Turkey. Where’s that commonsense, that understanding, that wisdom, in the West today?

    On a lighter note (as an Aussie I picture beleaguered Putin (pushed too far) finally hitting back and yodeling Aussie Frank Ifield’s 1964 hit, “Don’t Blame Me.”

    Let’s pretend U.S. is innocent.
    It never invaded anywhere.
    So it has every right to punish Putin.
    Oh … who (unpunished) invaded Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Iraq. Afghanistan Syria, et al?
    I … can’t remember.

    Let’s pretend We alone defeated Nazi Germany
    And 20 million Russians died for nothing,
    (Without our gratitude.)

    Let’s pretend Russia has no right to self-defense (as Ned Price might say, “We do, but they don’t.”)
    So, we can take Moscow again, can’t we,
    As US/UK/NATO appear to want to do —
    Breaking promises to Gorbachev,
    Creeping nearer, nearer, nearer
    To the Russian bear –
    Poking him in the eye (and pocket) –
    Demonizing him as (Maddow-Pelosi do) – he’s the 28th “second Hitler” after Mosaddeq, Nasser, Assad et al.
    This is all very sensible, mature, intelligent of the West,
    It won’t provoke nuclear Russia, will it?
    Russia will put up with it,
    Just as America would – right …?

    The European so-called “liberal democrat” regimes
    Have lost it to the hyperbolic propaganda memes
    That blare out from the so-called “media’ in the USA,
    Which loves democracy so much Obama blew away
    Ukraine’s elected leader, and installed the Nazi bugs
    Who then cremated those who voted wrong — we love those thugs!
    We’re sending guns to help them now, so they can kill some more.

    And why are European powers rushing to defend
    Coup juntas like Ukraine’s? That’s how democracy will end.
    Let’s have a coup against the Johnson clique, the Biden Mob –
    Give cookies to the ones who do the Maidan sort of job.
    Let’s see how Bid’n and Boris like it, Scholz and Macron too.
    No — let’s bring back the Ukraine leader US overthrew.

    • Rob Roy
      March 2, 2022 at 20:22

      George Philby,
      Nicely put.

  18. Ex Pat
    February 28, 2022 at 16:42

    German Secret Dealing With Ukrainian Nazis

    Retired Indian ambassador M.K Bhadrakumar had a nice piece of inside information –

    ‘Germany is livid, as Russia played it nicely while Spetsnaz was getting ready to go for the neo-Nazi brigades who were Berlin’s secret weapon in Ukraine. Berlin now realises Moscow had known all along Germany’s doublespeak; mutual trust is zero.’

    ‘Covering up huge loss of face. On top of it, Germany’s spy chief Kahl who came to Kiev last week to give financial touches to Neo-Nazi ‘partisan war’ was caught by surprise when first Russian tank column appeared & had to be evacuated by special forces from Berlin. What a mess!’

    – hxxps://nitter.net/BhadraPunchline/status/1497859853142102018

    Hence the arms to Ukraine _and_ barring Russia from Swift.


    Should Russia be worried? Russia has previously done exceptionally well at rolling up the fascist US Empire Chechen and Georgian wars against it. Never mind the ten-a-penny coloured revolutions – the Kazakhstan version of January 2022 was rolled up and the Russian peace keepers were home in ten days from start to finish!

    Von der Leyen has an unfortunate record of incompetence as Germand defence minister. She is, said a commentator, well known in Germany – with accompanying picture –

    – hxxps://nitter.net/ThomasGBauer/status/1497859431119392769

    – hxxps://nitter.net/MacleodFinance/status/1497846164711948289

    What might she have failed to anticipate those further sanctions doing? ER, Only sinking the Euro according to one British investment expert. Given Brexit UK-EU bad feelings a lot of British (Tory) commentators might be happy about that. Unlike 370m Europeans presently being led by the nose towards war and insanity by the biggest USUK and, apparently, some of their own governements’ propaganda campaign since WW2.

    SO. You might think that Europeans have reason to be very worried indeed!

    – hxxps://nitter.net/MacleodFinance/status/1498074198345924609

  19. Ex Pat
    February 28, 2022 at 16:39

    Indian ambassador MK Bhadrakumar is a tremendous font of knowledge, particularly on Russia and China.

    His latest article reveals that apart from the entirely befuddled and thoroughly propagandized US and the European countries, the rest of the world is not buying one iota of the USUKEU blizzard of propaganda. Indeed they are stunned that supporting Nazi ideology is no longer taboo for the US, UK or Germany. Which causes Israel no little difficulty.

    ‘Ukraine makes strange bedfellows’, by MK Bhadrakumar, 28th February 2022 – MK Bhadrakumar blog Indian Punchline –

    – hXXps://www.indianpunchline.com/ukraine-makes-strange-bedfellows/

    Nitter – a far better way to access Twitter – MK Bhadrakumar – hXXps://nitter.net/BhadraPunchline

    • evelync
      March 1, 2022 at 08:51

      wow, thanks, Ex Pat for this intro to MK Bhadrakumar and nitter!

      That’s an incredible and poignant article ( “strange bedfellows”).
      Somehow I doubt the corrupt Netanyahu would have stood on principle…

      • SomeSalt
        March 1, 2022 at 11:33

        “( “strange bedfellows”).”

        Not really even after 1945 when ancestors of the BND shared premises with the remants of OUN outside Munich close to the studios of ZDF, which was convenient in facilitating whatever happened to Mr. Bandera by delivering him into “other hands” when he became an embarrassment, similar to the outcome of Mr. Mitrione in Uruguay during the 1970’s

  20. John Puma
    February 28, 2022 at 15:52

    The only thing I find inexplicable about Putin is that he, still, after 100+ (1917 US invasion) of general abuse to his country and 20+ years of demonization of him personally, erroneously thinks the US mendacious, murderous and cosmically hypercritical jackals will someday actually listen to what he is saying and act out of logic and respect.

    Putin is not the problem … rather it’s the fundamentalist “exceptionalists” who have to kill incessantly to continue to believe their self-proclaimed unique superiority.

    Note: Its “deterrence” for the exceptionalists but “threat” for Putin

  21. Chris
    February 28, 2022 at 15:07

    “…the national security strategy of a nation that has been subjected to detailed bureaucratic vetting…”

    Is this to be interpreted to mean that within the Russian state there has carefully been established a consensus that will not crack under the worst of circumstances? Ie That the military won’t abandon Putin?

  22. Em
    February 28, 2022 at 13:07

    Metaphor versus Real Madness
    Here’s the biggest joke of all; that at the close of the 2nd month of the 2022 season, international law is even in play, in this game of death, we call survival.
    The self-appointed referee in this game is the same as the dominant player on the field; making the rules to his advantage, as he sees fit, yet has been offside since the game began.
    If the fans and spectators of the opposing team, hadn’t risen up decisively, and stormed the field, the outcome would have been a forgone conclusion.
    Of course, the problem now is, how do we, all of us watching complacently, get out of the stadium, without trampling each other to death, and all the players too, in this international game of madness itself, vanishing from Stadium Earth.
    Of course, all commentary is just that, observation, and usually reflection is in the eye of a lay person.
    In this commenter’s opinion, however, Scott Ritter is one of, if not the best, incisive and thoroughgoing analysts of overall U.S. military doctrine.

  23. Realist
    February 28, 2022 at 12:55

    Hasn’t Putin proved his contentions about NATO, Ukraine and Washington?

    He said that NATO was basically a pack of jackals whose only purpose was to harass, threaten and damage the national interests of Russia by any means possible and that they would gang up in concert on his country on the word of any one country in that clique under its article 5. He said that various members of this gang (e.g., Poland, the Baltics, Romania) have already been recruited (nay, volunteered) to serve as staging areas for missile batteries aimed at Russian cities because of their close geographic proximity. He further complains that the legitimate government of Ukraine was deliberately overthrown by secret Western agents (CIA, MI5, NATO) and recruited into NATO to specifically serve as both a trip wire and point of origin for more missiles aimed at Russia, because you cannot get any closer to Russia than right across their mutual border, and because no European country is as fanatically anti-Russian and far right wing (to the point of bona fide Nazi worship).

    Mr. Putin spelled all this out before the entire world in great detail. Only a fool or an enemy hell bent on Russia’s demise could gainsay the accuracy of his words. After establishing his pretext he offered a simple solution that would cost the Western alliance very little and would guarantee against all of the looming crises he first outlined. To wit, Ukraine would not be given admittance to NATO, eliminating it as both a potential powder keg and staging area for military aggression against Russia and the missile batteries in Poland, Romania and wherever else planned for NATO countries would be dismantled as a 10-minute interval from launch to impact (2 minutes if hypersonic missiles are developed and deployed by NATO forces) precludes any ability to recognise, let alone defend against any attack on Russia by NATO. All these demands were eminently fair as was insisting that NATO members recruited after 1997 (basically Poland, Czechia and Hungary onward) could not serve as billets for permanent NATO armies or large brigades. In other words, no large permanent attack formations in close proximity to Russia.

    What was NATO’s response (essentially formulated and delivered entirely by the United States)? The whole world took note of it. It was, in so many words, go to hell. We don’t need no steenking badges… or any suggestions from you. We will surround and intimidate you to hell and back whenever we please because we are the exceptional country. We will recruit the Devil himself and his legions from Hell to make your lives miserable.

    This was quite a barbaric response to hurl at any country, especially one trying to defuse tensions and come to some arrangement that would keep the peace. Putin took it as any straight thinking person would. The Americans cannot be bargained with. They do not want peace with our country. They want war in some fashion. Hell, they have already been conducting hybrid, economic and proxy wars against us for quite a long time even after the so-called Cold War was declared over thirty years prior. He looked and listened and saw Washington and other NATO countries shoveling multi-billions of dollars worth of advanced weaponry at Ukraine while encouraging them to attack the breakaway oblasts in the Donbas who refused to recognise the legitimacy of the Maidan coup d’etat. Over 16,000 ethnic Russians in those oblasts had been reported killed at the hands of incessant Ukrainian terrorists brandishing their Nazi identities with fanatical hubris, and this AFTER signing the Minsk2 Accords which promised to cease their systematic murder of approximately 7 years earlier!

    Putin, of course, wanted to save those people from further massacre. He tried one last diplomatic attempt at getting Ukraine to stop their wanton murders, implement the peace plan they had agreed to and start living in harmony in a democratic federal republic, rather than a Nazi state run by a cadre of Russia-hating racists. When that failed his last ditch effort was to formally recognise the Donbass republics as independent states. When the Ukrainian army and its Nazi-recruited private militias continued to attack the Russian people of the Donbas he responded to their pleas for help against the mass murderers. He sent the Russian army into Ukraine, not to conquer and exploit it as a resource for the Russian state but merely to rid it of organised murderers, the disgusting ideology of Nazism, and a hair trigger for a major war against his own country that would be precipitated by Ukraine but vigorously carried out by a paranoid United States that actually has a formal doctrine in writing that calls for suppressing the development of ANY country that even theoretically poses to be a competitor of the American state in any area you care to name (i.e., “total spectrum dominance”). This vile document is known as the “Wolfowitz Doctrine” and is formalised in a paper known as the Project for the New American Century. Think of it as the Mein Kampf of fascist America.

    And here we stand. Putin’s fears and reasons for acting are being vindicated as the pack of jackals, the entire European community of nations has decided to ally totally against Russia in support of a truly heinous nation in Ukraine, ignoring the very real grievances of both Russia and the Donbas Republics, essentially telling them to go pound sand, and for even trying to protect your righteous interests we are going to further persecute you. We are going to threaten, sanction and harass you in every way possible, perhaps even on the battlefield (because they keep making threats of actual hands-on military actions). We are certainly going to pull out all the stops to destroy your economy. The pipeline you built to save the imbeciles in Germany (and probably most of Europe) from an energy crises, you can deep six that, and just try to recover your expenses. Banking with the outside world? Forget it, you’re cut off. Transportation links with the outside world? Ditto, all our airspace is closed to you. Due process in commerce? Go to hell, we are already seizing your ships and their cargo. This is already a full scale hybrid and economic war. The next step is to make it kinetic, which we are on the threshold of perpetrating by personally delivering yet more weapons for the Ukrainians to use against you. The Western world has finally elucidated its genuine plans for interaction with Russia, which is to grievously wound it, cause its collapse as a unified society, dissect it more thoroughly than the hatchet job of 1991, and steal all of its natural resources before China (America’s next targeted victim) has a chance to intervene or take its own piece of the pie.

    Europe and its pack of NATO jackals may be feeling pretty smug right now, proud that they were able to play Russia for the dupe so long and so effectively until they could spring the trap, capture their prey and start to eat it alive. However, knowing the leadership that controls the United States, I strongly suspect they are the next meal on the menu, especially Germany, which is simply much too competitive in automotive and industrial manufacturing for the likes of our American oligarchs. Oh, the plants may stay in Europe, but the ownership of them just might get transferred around a lot during the impending world depression and bout of hyperinflation. Think the last days of the Weimar Republic.

    But no one will be able to say that Europe did not deserve what she is about to reap from her dalliance with the American cowboy persona. For nearly 80 years European countries have, understandably, been so spooked by their history of Nazism that to say anything favorable about the ideology, their Fuehrer, their machinations or historical legacy is to commit a criminal offense punishable by prison time and strict fines in many, if not most, European countries. Even Americans who wander into Europe and make the wrong statements about Nazism are subject to prosecution and punishment. With that history and that attitude, it is absolutely a case of mind-blowing hypocrisy for present-day European countries to suddenly reverse engines and embrace the Nazis in Ukraine over the saviors in Russia who prevented a permanent take-over of Europe by the Third Reich. Have you ever encountered such a pack of ingrates? In addition to being jackals. Lord almighty, the Americans seem capable of converting anyone into their evil brotherhood, as long as their is a financial payoff I would presume. Really a sad day for Western Civilisation. This is the day that reason and justice deliberately and conspicuously died. They were murdered in front of your eyes. Who will you believe? The killers or your own lying eyes?

    • Rob Roy
      March 2, 2022 at 20:38

      I’ve always liked you, Realist, and now you’ve outdone yourself. Beautiful. Thanks!

  24. GMCasey
    February 28, 2022 at 12:05

    I always wondered what the N-A-T-O letters really represented and there was always something that was not clear to me.

    I think I understand now.

    NATO’s real meaning = Negative Actions Total Oblivion.

  25. Lois Gagnon
    February 28, 2022 at 11:27

    There’s a split in the peace movement around Russia’s right to self defense. Most are blaming both side equally. I try mostly but not always in vain, to argue the only path to de-escalation is through guaranteeing Russia’s security. Most insist on Russia stepping back with no guarantee of anything from NATO. Any rational person knows, that’s not going to happen.

    Washington’s and Brussels’ dream of regime change in Russia will not come to pass regardless of how this ends. They still don’t believe it.

    • Danny Miskinis
      February 28, 2022 at 19:49

      The only way regime change could occur now in Russia would be for a more hawkish approach to the West than Mr. Putin had. He always professed a desire to have good relations with Europe and US, but of course now may see this as impossible. Putin’s critics may consider he was just a dreamer to think Americans would ever allow him or his nation anything.

  26. February 28, 2022 at 10:47

    Excellent article Scott, thank you!

  27. Vera Gottlieb
    February 28, 2022 at 09:48

    And the US continues with it’s nefarious actions…as if nothing is happening. If this continues in this vain there will be a dear price to be paid by all those participating.

  28. GBC
    February 28, 2022 at 09:03

    Once again, Scott Ritter is a voice of sanity crying out in the wilderness. The US–not Russia– is being led by fools and madmen, if they think that supplying weapons to Ukraine solves anything. It is simply pouring gasoline on an already burning building. Where, oh where, are any voices shouting “Stop”, before we go over the nuclear precipice. It seems all the hard-earned lessons of Cold War diplomacy and arms control have been forgotten by the second-rate people in charge in the US and NATO. No one paid heed to Matlock, Kennan, Nunn, and others who expressed misgivings about NATO expansion at the time, in favor of smug chest-beating Neo-Liberalism, followed on by Neo-Cons. The only ‘winner’ here will be the MICCIMATT. And the climate crisis that so desperately needs international cooperation to succeed may end up being “solved” by nuclear winter.

  29. Aaron
    February 28, 2022 at 06:39

    It’s exactly what I feared was going to happen when the invasion started. Little conflicts and disagreements escalate very rapidly, and in this case stoked by every media station, politician in both parties, reporter on the ground and an infinity of social media warhawks who don’t know shit about war or the dangers of pushing dangerous adversaries over the edge, it reminded me of this film that started out so simple and escalated into more and more violence and death

  30. brian
    February 28, 2022 at 04:14

    USA is giddy over using their new favorite weapon of ‘sanctions’, clearly because they are only power controlling this weapon.
    They further rationalize these as not real weapons because their effects happen slowly and indirectly.
    But it is not so clear to me that a more powerful adversary such as Russia will be so amenable to that selfish conclusion.
    This situation seems near suicidal by USA/Nato protagonists, and for no real gain IMO.

  31. Realist
    February 28, 2022 at 03:48

    The way the entire Western world has ganged up on Russia on behalf of the United States pretty much proves Putin’s point about the purpose of NATO being nothing but a pack of attack dogs against his country. Their unified support of Nazi Ukraine to use as a cudgel against Russia is simply stunning considering the history of Nazism in Europe. the role Russia played in saving Europe from Nazism in WWII, and Europe’s otherwise enduring battle against Nazism in the form of highly restrictive laws that can see you actually jailed and fined for saying the wrong things about Nazis, their Fuehrer, their machinations and their historical legacy.

    None of Putin’s thoughts on these matters were left unexpressed in his lengthy discussions with Western diplomats and before the world. The existential threat to his country as stated by Scott Ritter and the deliberate role of Ukraine both as a potential powder keg to armed conflict and a launch site for missiles from Russia’s very border with a flight time of a mere 10 minutes to Moscow or St. Petersburg was made abundantly clear. The historical hostility of Ukraine to all things Russian is well known, even by obtuse American “scholars,” politicians and government advisors. The significance of NATO article 5 is well understood by Russia’s self-described American enemies. Any single NATO country has the capacity to take the entire alliance into a world war. Appearances strongly suggest that Ukraine has been chosen as the chosen agent for this task, even if it has to be as some nebulous associate member, member-elect or new initiate. So, Putin was answered not with any potential solutions to his very real and demonstrable predicament but only with purposeful pointed insults. Even at the edge of the abyss Washington and its minions chose to keep tensions high and the pot boiling. The angrier the Russians, the better for the American warmongering purposes it most definitely seemed.

    It certainly looks for all the world that this is a world war that the United States desperately craves and it will do anything to threaten, goad, harass, provoke and enrage Russia with an endless litany of off-the-wall accusations. Charges that in reality it is truly more guilty of than Russia, starting with the coup d’etat and regime change it provoked in the Maidan during February of 2014, followed by endless persecution of the Russian enclaves within Ukraine that voted to not accede to an unlawful regime change imposed upon them and instead de-facto seceded from the country. Those enclaves have been mercilessly attacked by Ukraine for 7 straight years even resulting in the deaths of approximately 16,000 people, this in spite of signing an agreement (Minsk2) to federalise the country and solve the problem. I’d call the major problem blatant genocide, but the German Chancellor, good NATO member to the end, apparently laughs and uses some other definition. But I think that neither Ukraine nor Washington ever wanted the problem solved. I think they intended from the get go to let it fester and for animosities between these entities and Russia to escalate to the point of open kinetic warface–hybrid and economic warfare already being widespread and metastasizing for near on 8 years now.
    And, of course, the oppressively authoritarian government of a severely debilitated and ethically-compromised Joe Biden (Burismagate) has quite obviously, against all logic and reason, managed to recruit 100% of the stenographers that masquerade as mainstream media journalists these days. So, now we have an national avalanche in favor of a hot war with Russia according to the polls. No need to ask who will turn out the lights when its over. The first EMP will accomplish that for years to come. It’s not only Scott Ritter who has noticed the way Washington only doubles down on its every turn to hold, fold or raise. I composed a much longer and more thoroughly itemized list of Ukrainian/American joint persecutions of Russia and NATO’s increasingly strident comments either indicating their lust to go to war or foolish notions to placate Washington warmongers but Akismet has got me in chronic rejection mode again it seems. Hopefully this activates the moderation bin and not the spam file.

    • Consortiumnews.com
      February 28, 2022 at 09:03

      Please try posting it again. It never arrived.

  32. If Ifs and Buts were Candy and Nuts
    February 28, 2022 at 03:04

    If the US had simply pressured Ukraine to comply with Minsk II, incorporated into UNSC Res. 2202 that the US itself has signed, or even if the US had simply raised a voice to the, frankly blatant, war crimes against civilians Ukraine was perpetrating in the Donbass in 2014-2015, instead of ignoring them entirely, even de facto endorsing them, then: NONE OF THIS WOULD BE HAPPENING!

    • vinnieoh
      February 28, 2022 at 12:06

      And if the US had not intervened in Viet Nam to prevent the referendum that was promised after the French defeat at Dien Bien Phu, 3 million Vietnamese might not have been killed, nor approximately 6 million sickened by the residue of the poisons we sprayed over there, nor would the US have sacrificed approx. 60,000 of its young men in that senseless, pointless conflict.

    • Drew Hunkins
      February 28, 2022 at 15:01


      Of course it was the Washington empire’s plan along to bait the bear into extending itself and receiving the complete and total scorn of the it’s Western media lapdogs.

    • Rob
      February 28, 2022 at 17:21

      You are presuming that the United States wants to avoid war when, in fact they want to start one—a big one. As stupid and dangerous as it may be, this is the strategy that they are willfully pursuing—lure Russia into a war that will serve to deplete it, much as it’s war in Afghanistan did. That the war will occur on the European continent is of little concern to the US, as is, seemingly, the risk of escalation to nuclear weapons. The neocons and liberal hawks are driving the foreign policy bus and may be heading at full speed towards Dead Man’s Curve.

  33. Moi
    February 28, 2022 at 01:55

    Partially cross-posted from another forum.

    A new study from the American Physical Society (pre-eminent US physicists) concludes that “no [US] missile defense system thus far developed has been shown to be effective against realistic ICBM threats.” Current and planned systems are incapable of defending the US against even a _limited_ attack by, get this, North Korea.

    China and Russia produce far more sophisticated weapons than NK and use “technologies specifically designed to defeat current and future U.S. defenses against ballistic missiles, such as maneuvering warheads, multiple independently targeted warheads, and hypersonic glide weapons”. Add subsea nuclear-armed drones and the US is wide open.

    Note well: the US is no longer the dominant military power in a worldwide existential war. It will not be able to realistically defend itself or, for example Nato States, Japan or Australia for at least 15 years.

    The REAL world power is Russia because it can rain down unstoppable weaponry while defending it’s core territory with S500’s, thus negating any possible US advantage. It comes down to the US being good at attack (not quite good enough) but absolutely hopeless at defence.

  34. Trisha
    February 28, 2022 at 01:18

    By continuing to deliver weapons to Ukraine, to use to kill Russian troops, US/NATO has effectively declared war against Russia.

    At the moment Russia is too busy cleansing Ukronazis, but I could see Russia strike US/NATO supply and/or missile bases in Poland or Romania, particularly if Russian “A” team troops can be held in reserve to confront US/NATO. Russia is already evacuating its citizens from EU, a very bad sign.

    • Sunark
      February 28, 2022 at 08:37

      All this sufferings the Ukrainians have to endure today is because of a section of Ukrainians, and their misguided attempt to seek close cooperation with Europeans and the Americans. They simply forgot that America has no permanent friends and they don’t give a damn about the Ukrainian people. The only aim of America is to trigger conflict around the world and ensure that one or more of these conflicting parties is an US leaning country or American arms user. It is for these reasons that America has been engaging in some form of warfare nearly continously since the end of ww2.This in turn ensures that the weapons manufacturers and their business never run out of customers. They have been quite successful in this for the past 70 years. Once their objectives are met they will simply dump their so called partners, just like in Iraq, pakistan and even Iran. All these countries were at one point strong US allies.

      • vinnieoh
        February 28, 2022 at 11:56


        Just to flesh out your comment, and with information you may already be aware of, but some may not: before the Islamic Revolution in Iran in ’79 it is recorded that Iran had the 3rd largest military in the world. Military hardware that was essentially shipped there by the US/UK and with the ever-ready help of Israel. It was that military largesse which Iran was able to fight Iraq to a standstill with during the Iran-Iraq War. Few if any came to Iran’s aid, while most of the western powers openly or clandestinely aided Iraq. Near the end of that war Iraq’s forces were badly decimated and then were replenished by arms merchants and war profiteers from the world over. And it was that replenished military arsenal that was destroyed in the US’ first Gulf War – Desert Storm.

    • Bob Kavanagh
      March 1, 2022 at 13:13

      No Russian troops in Ukraine, no dead Russian troops

  35. Malcolm Powell
    February 28, 2022 at 01:11

    Is this situation much different to the resources squeeze Japan felt when she decided to drop bombs on Pearl Harbour?

  36. AKD
    February 27, 2022 at 23:04

    BIG question:What about China?

    Would China really be ok with one of it’s biggest trading partners getting nuked?

    Could China do anything to save it’s golden goose(the U.S)?

    • SomeSalt
      February 28, 2022 at 03:12

      “Could China do anything to save it’s golden goose(the U.S)?”

      “The question is, is it capable of comprehending the seriousness of the situation?

      So far, the answer seems to be no.”

      The framing of your comment outlined in the first quote above is an illustration of the validity of Mr. Ritter’s observation, the second quote above.

      The parties engaged in attempts to save golden gooseness are the network of coercive social relations designated as “The United States of America” aided by we-the-people-hold-these-truths-to-be-self-evidentness.

    • Karl luck
      February 28, 2022 at 07:18

      China must and will come off the fence.

      • Consortiumnews.com
        February 28, 2022 at 09:05

        China is firmly in Russia’s camp.

        • robert e williamson jr
          February 28, 2022 at 16:58

          Yup! It’s called leverage. The question here might should be, “How will the US react if and when China applies that leverage it has thanks to the US outstanding debt China holds.

          Thanks CN

  37. AKD
    February 27, 2022 at 22:58

    So,are we living our last days on earth then?

    I’m 32 btw.

    All of this is happening because NATO/US thought it could push around a Nuclear-armed behemoth like Russia.

    What I don’t understand is WHY..Why have Russian Nukes become irrelevant to NATO/US planners?

    And also..Is there ANY way that this all can be resolved WITHOUT nukes? I mean,only if NATO attacks Russia directly then nukes come out/or if Russia goes after Poland?

    This is all scaring this young fellow here.

    And on the topic of Nukes…would any strikes be Countervalue(military targets) or Counterforce(Civilian targets)?

    I never thought I’d ever see a nuke war in my (relatively short) life on this earth.

    P.S:Would NATO/U.S even DIRECTLY attack Russia anyway? I mean,our leaders can’t be THAT suicidally moronic…right?

    • Prairie
      February 28, 2022 at 02:29

      The US/NATO have become blindly arrogant and smug because the world has done nothing about the string of invasions and war crimes they have committed. At present numerous nations are still illegally occupying Syria. The UN does nothing. When NATO went after Libya? The UN did nothing. The biggie – US invasion of Iraq (with their British buddies of course)? Nothing.

      The minute the US and its allies invaded Iraq (2nd time) they were in violation of the UN Charter and thus a rogue state. And the world did nothing. Worse – a bunch of them joined in.

      So are they that moronic? Yes. Because they think the world will do nothing.

      Problem is that Russia will do something. As it is now. Our best hope for those of us who are citizens of NATO nations is that Russia will show restraint. I think it is certain, however, that the one thing they will not do in face of the escalating threat from NATO is nothing.

    • SomeSalt
      February 28, 2022 at 04:03

      ” I mean,our leaders can’t be THAT suicidally moronic…”

      In times of perceived existential threat the coercive social relations designated “The United States of America” have resorted to tactics predicated on their perceived utilities that their opponents can be convinced that the President is mad.

      “The United States of America” tested this hypothesis on at least on two ocassions – in the early 1970’s in regard to Mr. Nixon, and in the 1980’s in regard to Mr. Reagan’s “Star Wars Initiative”, and interpreted the outcomes as positive.

      As a function of “exceptionalism” “The United States of America” are prone to the illusion that others wish to be like them – hence the tendency towards projection encouraged by conformance facilitated by we-the-people-hold-these-truths-to-be-self-evidentness.

      The updated nuclear doctrine of the Russian Federation to which Mr. Ritter refers, but not in fine detail, is not based on bluff, but informed by one of Mr. Putin’s questions – “Who would like to live in a world without Russia?”

      “And on the topic of Nukes…would any strikes be Countervalue(military targets) or Counterforce(Civilian targets)?”

      Thank you for your illustration of the success of attempts of assigning a level of cuddliness to nuclear weapons by calling them “Nukes”.

      Your belief in nice (very precise, as in a nice distiction) separations of targets, which in part also facilitates illusions of “tactical nuclear weapons”, is in part shared by some who deem themselves to be leaders and hence seek to minimise the agency of others, but has in practice been disproven as practitioners so engaged realise, but this understanding in a wider public has been precluded by restricted distribution facilitated by various forms of attempted coercions.

      When some perceive existential threats they resort /become subject to Mass Psychogenic Illnesses.

      Consequently the informed response to your question – “I mean,our leaders can’t be THAT suicidally moronic…” is yes they can, hence the reminders of Mr. Putin and others expressed in public, which others, excluding some practitioners, may interpret as fear on the part of the Russian Federation.

    • Steve
      February 28, 2022 at 09:31

      AKD my sympathies to you for your rational fears.
      I felt exactly the same in my teens because of the Cuban missile crisis – caused by US missiles in Turkey threatening Russia.
      The US has learned nothing in the last 60 years.

    • Nathan Mulcahy
      February 28, 2022 at 14:15

      There are many problems with our “leadership”. But one of the most fatal one is that, after having successfully brain washed Americans with highly effective propaganda, now they believe in their own propaganda (e.g. we are the greatest military power in the galaxy).

    • evelync
      March 1, 2022 at 00:05

      Maybe wishful thinking on my part AKD, but China I think is very well aware of what’s going on.
      Watch this segment from the UN Security Council meeting on Ukraine on 2/25/22. At 1:07:22

      China chastises the west (U.S. /NATO) for disregarding legitimate security concerns of Russia.

      China through their Belt and Road initiatives around the globe seems to view the world differently from the winner take all mindset of the west. They have peaceful initiatives for development in countries around the world and seem to consider win/wins without aggression or domination.
      E.g. CODEPINK interviewed a couple of people in Africa and asked their views of our foreign policy vs China’s.
      In the Congo China is building a monument to Lamumba who served his people and people there know that this country killed him in one of their endless coups.
      People see these difference very clearly.

      China has a lot of power – I don’t know how they can use it but they do not seem like hotheads.They also own around $1trillian US treasuries.
      They are siding with Russia based on how they view what’s been going on and what they said at the UN in this video.
      And maybe India gets it too.

      They surely know that some people in this country are dismayed by our reckless dangerous foreign policy. They don’t want the world at the brink of nuclear war.

      Maybe they have some ideas to hold NATO countries accountable through economic means.

      This is a very troubling but also interesting time we live in.
      I’m a bit hopeful that wiser heads will win the day. China knows what’s going on and is not happy about it.
      And they are now allied with Russia.
      We have been disrespectful of both.

      The saddest thing I find of our foreign policy is that our side doesn’t give a s..t about the people of Russia or anywhere else. Our deciders are immature bullies who think they’re entitled to call the tune.

      Maybe their foolish aggression will somehow backfire on them and they’ll lose credibility and we can elect better, higher quality people.
      One can hope?

      • SomeSalt
        March 1, 2022 at 07:07

        “China through their Belt and Road initiatives around the globe seems to view the world differently from the winner take all mindset of the west. ”

        “The United States of America” are (plural) ?networks of coercive social relations not conflated with a temporary geo-political construct of the same name or a direction without start point “The West”, particularly risible since planet earth is approximately spherical..

        In almost all aspects these coercive social relationships are predicated on binaries of me/all others and winner-take-allness derived therefrom.

        The purposes of their opponents are to transcend coercive social relations by co-operative relations thereby posing a mutually perceived existential threat to “The United States of America”.

        Perfection is never an option in interactions and hence ocassionally those seeking to transcend coercive social relations engage in temporary limited coercive social relations as in Ukraine informed by “How to drown a drowning man with the minimum of blowback”, that interaction is a lateral process not a static “event” and that winning/losing is a false binary facilitating/necessitating constant war in mutating forms.

        Most of the world views the world differently from “The United States of America”, but more importantly in general most of the world act differently in the world than “The United States of America” for systemic reasons (notions of hegemony are illusions given that there are many Svejks, not all soldiers good or bad, in the world).

        “The Soviet Union” emulated to a lesser degree practices of “The United States of America” and remains a component of the half-lives of the illusions of some that “The United States of America” is the least worst option – opportunities of testing such hypothses being currently enhanced – in Russian idiom for the drawer.

    • Liz
      March 2, 2022 at 03:04

      P.S:Would NATO/U.S even DIRECTLY attack Russia anyway? I mean,our leaders can’t be THAT suicidally moronic…right?

      A. Oh but the US has all the western countries on board this time don’t they?

      Yes they are that suicidally moronic. The ppl in charge of the western countries have a lot of fraud to cover up that they are all part of and they dont care who dies as long as it’s not them personally.

  38. Andrew Dabrowski
    February 27, 2022 at 21:55

    “aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy.”

    Would economic sanctions count as “conventional weapons”?

    • Consortiumnews.com
      February 27, 2022 at 22:38

      No. It’s economic warfare.

    • Liz
      March 2, 2022 at 02:57

      The west has f*ckin lost it. Its like bloody school. A bunch of bullies backing a bear into a corner because they want russias resources and/or want to distract everyone from the enormous disaster the west has created with the financial system. I only know mr Putin as being someone to be scared of when growing up, but since 9/11 and the absolute load of crap about invading Afghanistan and Iraq and pretending to look for weapons of mass destruction, the continual gas lighting of people of the world while they do the opposite and rape and pillage of countries to satiate their disgusting appetite for control and greed and desperate for a distraction from the total f*ck up for releasing biological weapons to genocide the planet so they can all get away with the biggest financial fraud in history, I’m sad to say that I’m actually on Putins side this time.

      I don’t blame him for getting his back up. Who wouldn’t if you had NATO encroaching towards your country? This is all the West’s fault. Whatever becomes of this is the West’s fault. And everybody knows the mainstream news are a bunch of lying pricks colluding with the government’s which makes the arrogance and dominating actions of the US, the UK, Australia and anyone else trying to throw a punch in absolutely disgusting, childish and embarrassing.

      Clearly the West doesn’t give a sh*t about any lives that are going to be lost because of their stubbornness and over inflated egos. Everyone knows this is b*llsh*t behaviour of the West. Surely the government’s and defence forces are aware of this. Leave Russia alone and deal with the embarrassment of knowing that everyone knows that you lot f*cked the entire world because of your sick, demented , greedy power hungry pathetic attitudes. If you lot actually used all of that money and brain power to do good in the world can you imagine how much better this planet would be? But no. You have paranoid rulers of armed forces and dumb a** leaders and governments. It makes me embarrassed to be a human and sick to the stomach that people like this exist. I’m considering having a booster shot just to end my time here so i dont have to see more innocent people killed that I can’t do anything about. These people in control are sick in the f*cking head. A disgrace to the entire world and they should be ashamed of themselves. But they are psyhopatic megalomaniacs and they have no empathy or understanding whatsoever. It’s a massive p*ssing contest and it’s pathetic and wreckless. And for what? Control and money. Just like every other disgusting pathetic war. Shame on the West.

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